Going on Safari: The Design and Development of an Early Years Literacy iPad Application to Support Letter‑Sound Learning


  • Sophie McKenzie
  • Aaron Spence
  • Maria Nicholas


Games, literacy, digital application, design, phonics, iPad


This paper explores the design, development and evaluation of an early childhood literacy iPad application, focusing on the English Alphabet, called ‘A to Z Safari’ trialled in Australian classrooms. A to Z Safari was designed to assist students in the early years of schooling with learning the alphabet and building on their knowledge of letter‑sounds. This paper details the process that led to the design and development of A to Z Safari and evaluates the success of the application (also known as 'app'), using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), from a classroom trial in 2015. Quantitative data from the app statistics gathered on student use, and qualitative interviews with classroom teachers explores how students and teachers received A to Z Safari. It was found that the design of A to Z Safari exhibited ease of use and usefulness for the target cohort in regards to gameplay and teacher support, however a number of updates need to be made to the app’s functionality to satisfy future, larger scale use. Suggestions for those designing similar apps for use in classroom environments have been provided.



1 Feb 2018